Schools were segregated in France until the end of World War II.
Since then, compulsory education laws have raised the education of girls and young women throughout Europe.
Some women did become literate and were scholars, however, such as Hypatia.
Girls' formal education has traditionally been considered far less important than that of boys.
In Roman Catholic communities, Confirmation ceremonies are considered one of seven sacraments that a Catholic may receive during their life.
In many countries, it is traditional for Catholics children to undergo another sacrament, First Communion, at the age of 7 years old.
For this reason, girls' and boys' education differed.
Where women enjoy a more equal status with men, girls benefit from greater attention to their needs.
Many cultures have traditional customs to mark the "coming of age" of a girl or boy, to recognize their transition to adulthood, or to mark other milestones of their journey to maturity as children.
Japan has a coming-of-age ritual called Shichi-Go-San (七五三), which literally means "Seven-Five-Three".
In Europe, exceptions were rare before the printing press and the Reformation made literacy more widespread.
One notable exception to the general neglect of girls' literacy is Queen Elizabeth I.